Guardian Council Welcomes E-Voting

Guardian Council Welcomes E-VotingGuardian Council Welcomes E-Voting

The Guardian Council welcomes the idea of adopting an electronic voting system in the upcoming elections, the spokesperson for the council said on Tuesday.

"We embrace the idea of holding the elections electronically," Nejatollah Ebrahimian told IRNA, adding, "But we should be provided with details in this regard (by the government)."

Referring to the elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts, both scheduled for Feb. 26, 2016, Ebrahimian said no details have yet been presented to the council specifying "the number of the constituencies" to be equipped with e-voting technologies. The cabinet recently approved applying an electronic system to the two elections in metropolises.

Last year, when the government was preparing the budget bill, the Guardian Council called for the allocation of the required funding if the elections were to be held electronically, but the request was rejected by the legislators, he said.

"So we inferred that the government did not plan to implement e-voting. However, fortunately, this year the issue has been raised again by the executive branch."

For now, the efforts in this relation have not gone beyond merely the cabinet approval of the measure and comments by some officials, he said, noting that necessary information should be made available to the council and it should be allowed "enough time to weigh the possibility of monitoring such a process (of voting)."

"We will be glad to see the elections held electronically, as it improves the precision and speed and facilitates monitoring," Ebrahimian said.

Regarding the means to fund the move, he said, "It is possible for the government to add an amendment to the budget bill."  He also said the plan to hold legislative elections at a provincial level is currently being studied by the Majlis and will then be sent to the Guardian Council for approval.  

"We told the lawmakers that another legislation under the same title was proposed in 2007, which was rejected as it was contrary to the Constitution," Ebrahimian said, adding, "It is not known in what way the current motion is different from the 2007 one as it has not passed the Majlis yet."